Silverfish Identification & Prevention

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What are silverfish?

Silverfish look a little like tiny, silvery shrimp or swimming fish thanks to their tapered appearance, segmented bodies, and silver color. However, silverfish are actually insects. If you look at them closely, you can see that they have three body parts and six legs. These features hide behind their segmented exoskeletons.

silverfish in the bottom of a glass

Are silverfish dangerous?

Silverfish are not known to carry any dangerous pathogens, and the only way they could theoretically spread a disease is by contaminating your foods when they crawl through them. They are much less hazardous to your health than cockroaches or rodents.

However, silverfish do pose a threat to your property, and this is all thanks to the silverfish diet. Silverfish will eat anything with starch in it. A starch diet doesn't just mean the flour or cornmeal in your kitchen; it can also mean your prized book collection, your favorite natural fabric curtains or clothing, or even your wallpaper! If left alone, a silverfish infestation can do hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage to the things inside your home. 

Why do I have a silverfish problem?

Usually, you wind up with the silverfish problem because you have uncovered items that they could eat or uncontrolled moisture problems. Silverfish need a lot of moisture, which is why you'll commonly find them in damp basements or bathrooms, and if they're not getting the moisture or food they need outside, they'll find it in your home. Often, your house just turns out to be the most convenient source of food and water for silverfish, regardless of whether they're getting their needs met outside.

Where will I find silverfish?

As we said above, you'll find silverfish mostly in the damper areas of your house, including crawl spaces, basements, bathrooms, and anywhere there is an uncontrolled moisture issue. You will also find silverfish in similar places you'd expect to find cockroaches, like dark corners and under appliances. However, keep in mind that you may not see silverfish at all, even if you have a severe infestation. Silverfish do not like to interact with people and are nocturnal. Between them hiding from us and the fact that they're awake when we're asleep, your chances of running into them are slim.

How do I get rid of silverfish?

Because of the potential for silverfish damage, it's important to focus on getting rid of silverfish as soon as you realize there's a problem. The main issue with this is that silverfish can be pretty stubborn pests. It'll take more than some sticky traps to evict them. 

That's where we come in. Here at Terra Pest Management Specialists, our resident pest experts know how to kick silverfish to the curb better than any store-bought product ever could. If you want to ensure you have a home entirely free of silverfish, the only way to guarantee that is by calling in our pest specialists. 

How can I prevent silverfish in the future?

While getting rid of a silverfish infestation is almost impossible on your own, it absolutely is possible to prevent one before it starts. Just follow a few best practices: 

  • Store pantry foods in airtight containers.
  • Keep all indoor and outdoor trash covered.
  • Fix moisture problems around your home.
  • Put natural fabrics and books in airtight containers for long-term storage. 
  • Ensure silverfish entryways into your house, such as cracks and holes in the exterior, are sealed tight. 

Following these practices can help you ensure you never need a silverfish treatment, but if you wind up with an infestation, don't forget that help is just a click or call away with Terra Pest Management Specialists.

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